Ione Belarra en el desfile del 12 de octubre, portando un pañuelo bordado por mujeres palestinas — Daniel González / EFE
The Spanish President, Pedro Sánchez, dismisses Minister Belarra, who advocated for Palestine and called for the arrest of Netanyahu
The now-dismissed minister was the first in all of Europe to attend a solidarity demonstration with the Palestinian people and condemnation of Israel
The President of the Spanish Government, the social democrat Pedro Sánchez, has announced dismissal of the Minister of Social Rights and leader of the left-wing party Podemos, Ione Belarra, who in recent weeks had stood out for her defense of the Palestinian people and had described the actions of Israel in the Gaza Strip as «genocide» and «war crimes.»
Sánchez, who has been in office since 2018, was re-elected president by the Congress of Deputies for another four-year term last Thursday, with 179 votes in favor (social democrats, left-wing, and regional nationalist and independence groups) and 171 against (right-wing and far-right). This monday he has announced the composition of his new cabinet.
From his new government team, he has excluded the two ministers from the left-wing Podemos party: Irene Montero, until now Minister of Equality, and Ione Belarra, who held the position of Minister of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 and leader of this political organization. Podemos will not have any representative in the renewed Council of Ministers.
Sánchez’s decision comes a few days after Belarra, along with other leaders from Europe and Latin America, sent a letter to the International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor, calling for the arrest of the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to be tried for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide against the Palestinian people.
Earlier, Belarra had asked President Sánchez to react «with much greater courage» to Israel’s crimes and had proposed a package of measures, including suspending diplomatic relations between Spain and Israel and, at the European level, imposing economic sanctions against Netanyahu and his government, and agreeing on an arms embargo.
Likewise, the now-dismissed minister was the first in all of Europe to attend a solidarity demonstration with the Palestinian people and condemnation of Israel, leading to strong criticism from the Israeli Embassy in Spain, accusing her of collaborating with terrorism. In response, she stated that «denouncing the genocide [of Israel] is a democratic obligation.»
In recent weeks, Belarra has held multiple meetings with representatives of the Palestinian community, urged European leaders to act against Israel’s genocide, and has been actively involved in advocating for the Palestinian cause in the media and on social networks, where her posts have gained significant attention.